Four years ago, Reade Seligmann and two Duke lacrosse teammates were wrongfully accused of sexually assaulting an exotic dancer who picked the three men from a suggestive photo array. The case made national headlines and drew attention to the issues of wrongful convictions and
Last weekend, Seligmann graduated from Brown University, where he has worked to raise awareness about wrongful convictions and support for reforms. He will begin law school in the fall and aims to start a career aimed at preventing wrongful convictions across the United States.
Seligmann told the Newark Star-Ledger’s Steve Politi this weekend that his post-graduation plans always included law school, but that it wasn’t until the wrongful accusation that he developed a strong focus on why that was important to him.
“When you have something like that taken away,” Seligmann said, “you have a chance to sit back and say, ‘Wow, look how lucky I am to have all these opportunities before me.’”
He spent part of his senior year at Brown organizing a symposium on witness identification in Rhode Island.
The forum brought together officials from the state police, the attorney general’s office and the Innocence Project, and as a result of his efforts, all three groups are discussing changes that will standardize how witness identifications are handled in the state.
He also has helped raise nearly $50,000 for the cause, receiving a major humanitarian award from the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association in the process.
“I’d like to say I’m a noble guy and I would have done all that stuff,” Seligmann said, “but I probably wouldn’t have gotten involved in that if my life hadn’t been so impacted by a similar cause.”
Seligmann finished his undergraduate degree with honors both on and off the field, All Ivy League for lacrosse and Academic All-American for his scholastic achievement.